Palestinian Violence and a President’s Blindness

The author is a PhD historian, writer and journalist living in Israel.


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In response to the murder of four Israelis by Arab terrorists, President Obama said the following: “[In this] tragedy…people were gunned down on the street by terrorists who are purposely trying to undermine these [Israeli-Palestinian peace] talks.”

The aim of the terrorists, however, was not to stop peace talks. The attack occurred close to the same place where an Israeli policeman was shot in his car several months ago when there were no “peace talks.” Israelis are frequently attacked on roads throughout Israel by rocks and fire bombs, sometimes by snipers. These attacks are not connected to any political or diplomatic process. Framing this attack as politically motivated distorts the nature and meaning of Arab terrorism against Jews.

President Obama went on to say:

The message should go out to Hamas and everybody else who is taking credit for these heinous crimes that this is not going to stop us from not only ensuring a secure Israel but also securing a longer-lasting peace in which people throughout the region can take a different course.

One might have expected him to say: “Those who commit such murders, and those who support them, will be brought to justice and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” or “Unless the PA [Palestinian Authority] acts to eliminate terrorism and incitement there can be no progress in political, diplomatic or military cooperation. Actions speak louder than words.”

But he did not, and he won’t; because no matter what Arab terrorists do, the PA knows it has the support of many in America, Europe and the general international community.

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  • Beverley

    "Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
    And seeing you will see and not preceive,
    For the hearts of the people have grown dull.
    Their ears are hard of hearing. And their eyes they have closed.
    Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears.
    Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn."

    There is no way unregenerated man will understand what is happening to Israel. Just look at the 'Blindness' of President Obama and many educated and intellegant people they just can't see or understand. Trying to get them to preceive what is staring them in the face seems very unlikely, until it is too late.

  • al-Kidya

    Perhaps if we ignore them they'll all just go away…kind of like a swarm of Yellow Jackets around your beer in September.
    …If they know they aren't getting under our skin maybe they'll give up on the terror business.

    Ah, I doubt it! They'll just go to bigger and more effective means of terror.
    Hamas is not a swarm of Yellow Jackets looking for a sweet drink…they're much, much worse than anything found in the natural scheme of things!

  • jim

    Blindness? Blindness indicates you cannot see or understand. Does anyone really believe Obama is so naive (as he used to be frequently described) or blind to not know what the reality of the mid-East really is? Don't think so.

    So, since everyone and his dog says the so-called "peace talks" presently underway will not succeed, then why has Obama made such a big production of hosting them?

    Answer: so he can blame Israel for their failure and thus defray, or at least lessen, the criticism of himself and Iran for future aggressive acts towards Israel.

    "Well, they killed the peace talks so don't they deserve whatever they get?"

  • ajnn

    1. The "peace negotiations" are a prop to further his party's efforts in the November elections.

    2. so he can blame Israel for their failure and thus defray, or at least lessen, the criticism of himself and Iran for future aggressive acts towards Israel.

    "Well, they killed the peace talks so don't they deserve whatever they get?"

    cynical and calculating – that is our president.

    • SHmuelHaLevi

      I just received a Calendar for the Jewish New Year for use in 2010-11.
      The US posts a historical record of about 300 years depending on how one counts.
      I'll stick to the almost 6000 or 2011 years experience, if a times tainted by stupidity.
      Mr. Soetoro or Obama also depending on who one asks and if the records are reliable, may want to play US Chicago political games, but his chances to go around 6000 or 2010 are rather slim. What we do enjoy are the stunts the fellow pulls. Honestly, he should have gone for a job as a court jester rather than President of the greatest State on Earth.
      In November we will all vote, also yours truly as I just applied for a set of Ballots for the November elections. That is a veritable make or crash decision for the USA.

  • http://www.goodnessmovement.com Barry Cooper

    It seems to me we need to develop a checklist for anyone who wants to claim they are Islamic moderates. If they are unwilling to accept any of the items, they are not moderates, simple as that.

    First, they need to admit that the "Palestinians" are in fact refugees from a war that happened 62 years ago, and that they have no right and no chance of returning to claim ancestral lands and homes. Framed another way, that Israel has the right to exist in its present form.

    Second, that murdering non-combatants for political purposes is evil.

    Third, that civil law trumps Islamic law in all lands where Muslims live that are democratic.

    I have taken to calling the "Palestinians" refugees. This is accurate, except to the extent that most of the actual refugees have died of old age. Had the mercy Muslims love to talk about actually existed, the problem would have disappeared, just like every other refugee crisis in the history of the world. You lose, you move on, you deal with it. The Arabs that chose to stay are integrated into the nation, and have far more rights than their counterparts in Gaza, or any other Arab nation, except possibly Iraq.

  • muchiboy

    "First, they need to admit that the "Palestinians" are in fact refugees from a war that happened 62 years ago, and that they have no right and no chance of returning to claim ancestral lands and homes."

    But ,in all fairness,you cannot dismiss nor ignore the emergence of Zionism and the hundreds of thousands of European Jewish refugees who returned to Zion or Palestine after something more then 62 years.Ron

    • ziontruth

      These two posts, by Barry Cooper and then by Muchiboy replying to him, demonstrate the pitfalls of the rhetoric of redress. The exact same type of rhetoric that propelled a Marxist empty suit to the American presidency (voted by guilt-ridden American whites wishing to redress past wrongs by having a black president; in consequence, trashing MLK's "content of their character" completely).

      Zionism is not about redress of past wrongs. It's about the resettlement of the Jews on the land to which they are indigenous. The Arab settler-colonists occupying the huge mass of land from Morocco to Iraq, way beyond their indigenous entitlement (the Arabian Peninsula), have no right to utter even a squeak on this issue. Trying to obstruct the indigenous Palestinians, the Jews, from resettling Palestine is the height of insolence on their part.

      • MixMChess

        "But ,in all fairness,you cannot dismiss nor ignore the emergence of Zionism and the hundreds of thousands of European Jewish refugees who returned to Zion or Palestine after something more then 62 years."

        You can't dismiss the European Zionists, but as I have stated before, the European Jews that immigrated to Israel did so under completely legal and ethical means (purchasing tenant-free and vacant land). You need to get over this fact and past the Arab propaganda.

    • Barry Cooper

      The fact of the matter is that Jews have been persecuted wherever they have gone, for most of their history. The Arabs cannot say the same. Israel was intended as a home where they would be safe. The 1948 War was not started by the Israelis, and thus they cannot be held accountable for those who left to escape the fighting, most hoping openly for Arab victory, and a mass slaughter of the Jews–a slaughter that most certainly would have happened, had the armies of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan been victorious.

      During that same fighting 10's of thousands of Jews were evicted unceremoniously from Arab lands, and resettled in Israel (or elsewhere, notably the United States). Given any rational, decent human beings in the region, the refugees would have been integrated long ago. Part of the problem has been that the refugees cause trouble wherever they go.

      Now, after all the calls for the destruction of Israel, and vicious, hateful attacks against women and children by the refugees, only a fool would think that Israel would EVER countenance what they call a return, and which would on any rational accounting be called a reconquest.

  • ziontruth

    "the tens and hundreds of thousands of European Zionists who occupied ,colonized and finally cleansed the Palestinians from their homeland."

    The indigenous cannot be occupiers and colonizers of the land to which they are the indigenous. The indigenous of Palestine are the Jews, no matter where they come from. They are the only true Palestinians. Those you call the "Palestinians" are Arab settler-colonists. Arabs are indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, and settler-colonists anywhere else in the world.

    "At the same time,and in the same breath,Israel and the settlers must accept their share of responsibility for these innocent deaths."

    Thanks for that, I'll keep it in mind every time you get on your moral high horse regarding the ethnic cleansing of the Phakestinians (the aforementioned Arab settler-colonists).

    It's always the case, always, that anti-Zionists condemn "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide" by Zionists and only by Zionists, while ethnic cleansing on the Arabs' part is excused (because "Zionist settlers" are "land-thieves") and genocide on their part is rationalized ("You can't colonize, occupy etc. and not get your comeuppance!")

    May the Hamas jihad-murderers responsible and all those who side with them in anti-Zionism be chained forever in the fires of hell. Amen.

    • bubba4

      Maybe an excuse for being immoral isn't that "Arabs are worse".

    • MixMChess

      "The indigenous cannot be occupiers and colonizers of the land to which they are the indigenous. The indigenous of Palestine are the Jews, no matter where they come from. They are the only true Palestinians."

      While I generally agree with you, I think it is important to point out that all of the Jews that returned to the land legally purchased vacant and tenant-free land to build Israel. This was done despite the fact that Jews had historical and legal rights (Arabs having colonized, confiscated and outright stolen and raped the land through invasions in prior centuries) to the land. It is interesting that Israel was built in the most ethical and egalitarian (with Arabs) manner among all modern nations yet it alone is singled out for condemnation.

      • ziontruth

        Thanks, I know the history, and it only goes to highlight the sheer impudence of the Arabs claiming the Zionists to be land-thieves. However, once you come to the War of Independence (1947-9), the anti-Zionists will tell you it ended whatever fairness the Zionists exercised–no matter that that war was imposed on the fledgling Jewish state by the Arab population of Palestine and then five regular Arab armies. Obviously the world expects the Jews to be gentlemen even when under mortal threat.

        My point is, the anti-Zionists don't think Jews have any right to the Land of Israel, except as guests and tourists. They have framed a narrative in which Zionism is a White European Colonial Settler movement just like the French pieds-noirs (sp?) in Algeria, and everything is worked to fit that narrative. So when you tell them the Zionist Jews purchased all the lands, they backpedal onto the War of Independence, saying, "You see! That proves the Zionists wanted to steal Arab lands from the start!" That's the reason why I take pains to spread the truth that the Jews are the true Palestinians, indigenous to Palestine, while the Arabs are settler-colonist invaders. The anti-Zionists will reject that too, of course, but I gain a strong footing in that my argument is definitional: regardless of whether the Jews bought land or not, or of the War of Independence, Jews by definition cannot be stealing land in Palestine. The definitional argument is, after all, the standpoint the anti-Zionists nearly always argue from, and it must be responded to in kind.

  • muchiboy

    "Second, that murdering non-combatants for political purposes is evil."

    And murdering non-combatants for non-political purposes?
    And what do you think all the stink was about when the IDF murdered,I mean KILLED,I mean burned maimed torn apart thousands of innocent Palestinian women and children in their Gaza campaign.You think it was any nicer for those innocent Palestinians that it was non-political,or that a smart,clean shaven Israeli pilot dropped the cluster bomb that tore them apart or a kind bearded Jewish father manning an artillery piece that dropped a white phosphorus shell that burned them alive.Huh? Ron

    • sebyandrew

      If you provided a link to this wd. it be Al Jazeera ?

    • MixMChess

      Again, this is just nonsense and rhetoric. In Operation Cast lead approximately 1,100 Palestinians were killed – over 700 were Hamas operatives, over 160 men that could not be attributed to any organization and less than 295 identified as civilians. Israel took great pains in order to avoid these deaths. Hamas on the other hand encouraged the death of Palestinian and Israeli children. Hamas "bravely" used Palestinian children as human shields while firing rockets at Israeli daycares and kindergartens.

      The simple fact is, had Hamas not been shooting rockets at Israeli women and children this wouldn't have happened. In 2008 alone Hamas indiscriminately fired over 3,200 missiles and mortar shells into Israel. When will Hamas give up their hate and allow Israeli and Palestinian children to live in peace?

      • Barry Cooper

        Phrased another way, when will Hamas parents demonstrate a shred of love and care for their children's future? If this is unclear, hate is not love.

  • muchiboy

    "If you provided a link to this wd. it be Al Jazeera ? "

    A link? I seem to recall that around 1300 Palestinian civilians,many children,were killed by IDF bombs,shells,etc.I think several Israeli civilians died at the hands of Hamas rocket fire.I don't know if you can do morality by numbers,but these are the numbers for what it's worth.
    I wonder if the fate of those heroic IDF pilots who dropped the bombs killing so many innocent Palestinian kids would be similar to those evil Hamas fighters who fired their rockets killing so few Israelis? Would they burn together in hell? One can only hope.
    If indeed war is hell,and from what little of it I have seen it is truly hell on earth,then many of our soldiers,myself included, may find standing room only there.Ron

    A link,again,for what it's worth:
    http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?loa

    • ziontruth

      Per your own comment above, the Arab settlers "must accept the their share of responsibility for these innocent deaths."

      Sauce for the goose, you know.

      Myself, I don't condone the death of women and children, and neither does the Torah. That is why I, following the Torah, call for driving out all the Arab settler-colonists from the Land of Israel: it's the least painful solution, with the virtue of preventing the deaths of innocents.

      ("That's ETHNIC CLEANSING!!!" I hear people say. Yes, it is: the same thing anti-Zionists advocate for all of the Jews of Judea and Samaria at the very least. We differ only in the opinion as to which is the indigenous and which is the settler-colonist invader.)

    • MixMChess

      "I wonder if the fate of those heroic IDF pilots who dropped the bombs killing so many innocent Palestinian kids would be similar to those evil Hamas fighters who fired their rockets killing so few Israelis?"

      Probably not, because the brave IDF pilots intentionally targeted Hamas operatives, they can't help it that Hamas hid in civilian areas and used children as human shields. Get over it, the only monsters with blood on their hands are the Pali-Nazis.

    • Barry Cooper

      A foundational problem with leftists like yourself is that–lacking the moral compass which principles give you–you have no means of measuring atrocities. Thus, walking up to a 6 year old girl and pumping 10 .762 rounds in her head is the same as targeting a car filled with people who do things like that, and accidentally killing a bystander (who in all likelihood sympathized with the people in the car anyway).

      Most, sane, serious adults would see a difference between the two. Since you don't, I would infer you don't belong in that category.

  • MixMChess

    "Now tell me about the tens and hundreds of thousands of European Zionists who occupied ,colonized and finally cleansed the Palestinians from their homeland."

    Ron you need to quit with the rhetoric. As I have previously proven to you, early Zionists legally purchased vacant and tenant-free land to specifically avoid displacing any local Arab populations. There was no ethnic cleansing only Arab belligerence, hostility and war against the Jews. Arabs tried to commit genocide and ethnically cleanse the Jews of the region but failed. The legitimacy of Israel is not at question, it is fully legitimate under international legal, historical and moral principles. The real question is when will groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad give up their cowardly and deliberate attacks on Jewish women and children? When will the Palestinians accept peace so they can have their own country side by side with Israel?

  • muchiboy

    "early Zionists legally purchased vacant and tenant-free land to specifically avoid displacing any local Arab populations. "

    I came across some figures of 8%-10% Zionist purchased land in Palestine.Even so ,doesn't justify ethnic cleansing.The idea of European Jewish immigrants purchasing land and eventually dispossessing the original settlers of their homeland and birthright is morally repugnant.Worse then the Highland Clearances of the Scots,my people.For the most part Jews are a good and wonderful people,but in this single and perhaps out of character event,they are to be denounced.Their crimes against the Palestinian people need be judged as crimes against humanity,the most severe of crimes that include those of the Holocaust.Ron

    • MixMChess

      "I came across some figures of 8%-10% Zionist purchased land in Palestine.Even so ,doesn't justify ethnic cleansing."

      Are you seriously mentally deficient? Purchasing tenant-free and VACANT land doesn't involve ethnic cleansing.

      The partition of the region gave Jews a state in Jewish majority areas and barren dessert wasteland (where there were no settlements or people) in the Negev (desert). As stated above, the Jewish majority areas were legally purchased and had been mostly tenant-free. Again no ethnic-cleansing.

      Get over it, the myth of ethnic cleansing is just another fabrication of Pali-Nazis.

      "The idea of European Jewish immigrants purchasing land and eventually dispossessing the original settlers of their homeland and birthright is morally repugnant."

      What is wrong with Jews buying back their homeland that was originally stolen from them by the Arabs in the first place? Its a basic real estate concept, when you purchase land you own it. Jews bought land usually at nearly 10 times the land's appraised value. The Arabs were eager to sell their land and weren't hapless victims. Even still, the land they bought was VACANT and TENANT-FREE – no dispossession occurred from these transactions. Get over it…

      "Their crimes against the Palestinian people need be judged as crimes against humanity,the most severe of crimes that include those of the Holocaust."

      Please, the only crimes committed against the Palestinians are by the Palestinians themselves. Of course you ignore the nearly 100 years of murder, torture and rape that the Arabs and Palestinians inflicted on Jews in the region. You ignore the countless terrorist attacks. Palestinians define terrorism, xenophobia and cruelty. How many more innocent children will the Palestinians kill in these latest peace talks? Whenever the Palestinians are presented with statehood they chose terror. Face it, the Palestinians are the only modern heirs to the Nazis and have been very explicit in their call for death to world Jewry. It is morally repugnant that you would support such a racist, xenophobic and terror-fomenting people known as the Palestinians.

  • muchiboy

    "When will Hamas give up their hate and allow Israeli and Palestinian children to live in peace? "

    When they can play together in the same neighborhood in Israel or Palestine under the same flag.When they can live in the same town,settlement or farm as their grandparents.

    "Hamas hid in civilian areas and used children as human shields. "

    Oh,you mean like this?

    Israeli troops charged over use of boy as human shield
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8563726.stm

    • ziontruth

      "When they can play together in the same neighborhood in Israel or Palestine under the same flag."

      That's multiculturalism and it's never worked anywhere. It's often ended in genocide. Exhibit A: Rwanda. Exhibit B: Yugoslavia. Exhibit C: Any present-day European town with a sizable Muslim population. Those are only a tiny portion of the examples warning against multinational experiments.

      A state for each nation on its indigenous lands. The state as its nation's castle, protecting the nation from the depredations of cultural and ethnic clashes. Diversity isn't necessarily bad, but you don't put two potentially explosive chemicals in the same vessel.

    • MixMChess

      "When they can play together in the same neighborhood in Israel or Palestine under the same flag.When they can live in the same town,settlement or farm as their grandparents."

      Um, this already happens in Israel because everyone is equal under the law. Thus Arabs and Jews engage in many cooperative enterprises including children playing together at camp, school and playgrounds. Hamas and Fatah want Gaza and the W. Bank to be judenrein… gee I wonder who is preventing peace.

      "Oh,you mean like this?"

      Do you even read the articles you cite? The practice of using human shields is explicitly banned by the Israeli military. This was clearly a "breach of military norms" and the soldiers were prosecuted. Hamas on the other hand, widely uses children as human shields and encourages the deaths of children. Don't believe me?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0wJXf2nt4Y

      By the way, you should ask Hussam Abdo what he thinks about Palestinains using children as human bombs.

  • muchiboy

    "It doesn't work that way, Muchiboy"

    I guess not,ziontruth.Just like it didn't work for the little Jewish boy who told the Nazi guard he wanted to go home.Pity.Ron

    • ziontruth

      "Just like it didn't work for the little Jewish boy who told the Nazi guard he wanted to go home."

      When the anti-Zionist compares Zionism to Nazism, you know he's run out of arguments.

      Won't stop him from coming back again spouting those same arguments, though. But at least the lurkers here get to know what scum you anti-Zionists are.

      To borrow your own phraseology, I hope you'll be chained in hell next to the Hamas(s)es you kiss (yecch!). You're indigenous to hell, and you're entitled to a room there all your own.

  • sebyandrew

    Great dialogue ziontruth. Glad you're around. Your writing is worth reading and re-reading, which I plan to do again tomorrow morning. i'm not too sure about how well mcism is working in Canada tho, MB.I have already heard about clashes there with who else? I see it as a morass of competing interests with no consensus possible, which cd. likely lead to the erosion of personal freedoms that until recently were taken for granted such as freedom of speech. Thank you for the link. Unfortunately sources are not identified in the article and render it practically hearsay.

  • michiganruth

    I'd just ignore "muchiboy" if I were y'all. people like that don't really want a dialogue. they just want to tell you how bad those evil Joos are.

    their hearts bleed for the Palestinian refugees, who have deliberately turned down a homeland 3 or 4 times since they were first offered one in 1948. but they don't have as much sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees who were forced to move from Arab lands–in fact, you don't hear much about them at all, now, do you?

    there is one thing preventing peace in the Middle East, and it's not settlements. it's that one side has as its sworn objective the destruction of the other side. as soon as the Pals give up the pointless dream of an Israel-free world, they can have anything they want.

    • sebyandrew

      We're pretty much agreed. Still the response elicited from ziontruth was worthwhile.

  • MixMChess

    Palestinians have no legal, historical or moral birthright to any land in Israel. It's funny that you should attempt to compare Israel to its neighbors. Israel provides equal rights to all of its citizens regardless of race, religion or creed. Israel provides more civil rights to its citizens than not only every islamic/Arab nation but more than most western democracies. Get over it, Israel is a vastly liberal and progressive state – the Arab states and the Pali-Nazis are backwards and will be relegated to the dustbin of history unless they modernize quickly.

  • http://www.writeyourbookmasterclass.com Tiffany

    What's happening in the world? Wherever I am, there's this murders, terrorism, all bad news! I'd rather live in the old days!

    • Barry Cooper

      The old days were much worse. You need to read more history.

  • Beverley

    Michiganruth … see they don't get it, what is so difficult for them to understand? They call for the destruction of Israel and the Jews … what's not to understand, the mind boggles.

  • Fritz Idler

    I remember watching Jerry Falwell on TV in the late seventies/early eighties, utterly fascinated, before the Baker and Swaggart scandals tainted even him, resulting in a diminished presence for Falwell. One evening while flipping by on the hand dial, my attention was riveted. Falwell was making a passionate defense of Israel. I couldn't believe Jerry Falwell finally said something I agreed with! But then he gave his reasons; by siting Scripture. He said when Israel was finally, and fully unified, that would be the beginning of The End Times. I've always been a reasonably lapsed Lutheran, and so can not claim authority here. But Ann Coulter has always vouched for Falwell's authority. Now think of the implications here. You could argue for the destruction of Israel, if not the destruction of the Jews, as a form of world self preservation. Or how about allowing it a controlled existence, in an attempt to keep as many people happy as is reasonable. This may be a silly way to read such a dire situation, but this is how I recall it all, and read it. Wanting to be a believer again in this something-bigger-thing, as I move closer to my inevitability, I prefer to remain reasonable, and side as always with Israel. But I thought it might matter to some, about what motives may be involved in all this.

  • sebyandrew

    Fritz Idler:

    Remember Pharoah"s words in "The Ten Commandments"? (as played by Yul B.)

    Moses god….is God.

  • Samurai Hit Woman

    The threat of Islam is best expressed by the Imam who wants to build a victory mosque near the ruins of the world trade center.

    He's threatening that if we don't give in to them and let them put the mosque near the World Trade Center's ruins the Muslim population of the world will go crazy.

    They are crazy anyway because the doctrine they are following is crazy and if we don't give in to them we win and they lose. The opposite is true as well. If we give in to them they win.

    It's been this way all over the world where Islam threatens and gets inroads into a culture.
    They threaten and the weak cave in until Islam is the law of the land.

    This has been Islam's history of conquest. It works.